We hear this phrase a lot. With approval from sportswriters and sportscasters. With contempt from “stat geeks.” What does the phrase actually mean? Does it mean that the players are buddies? Does it mean that they don’t try to undermine each other? Does it mean that the “frat” mentality takes over and guys with less experience (rookies) are kept in their place and made to like it? Does it mean that guys believe they are on a winning or losing clubhouse and attitudes are catching? Does it mean that somehow that the guys rely on each other and do better because they have confidence in their fellow players’ abilities? All of the above? None of the above?
Or is their play independent of any external factors such as confidence or emotions? Are men simply stratomatic cards out there on the field (except for Jose Lima and Carlos Zambrano?) Do males believe that you should show no emotion on the field because doing so makes you, what? Less good? Mo better? Does lookin like they just don’t care make them play better? Worse? No effect?
Well, I do know that every ex-player I have ever heard talks about how the way that things are in the clubhouse affects how things are on the field. Haven’t we heard from players who go to the Yankees or Braves who say that when they get there the atmosphere is different, that the guys “expect to win?” I do know that some groups of people work better together and do better work than other groups of people. I know that my husband quit his job 2 years ago for one that takes him longer to drive to (and that is VERY important in a city that is 60 miles across) because he didn’t like the new manager who got rid of 2 nice guys and replaced them with 2 guys who were pigs. He said he didn’t like the environment and he didn’t want to work where he was unhappy. Isn’t that “clubhouse chemistry?”
I know my Aunt Mary, who is a nurse, quit her job of 22 years and moved to a different CITY to take a new job because she didn’t like the new administration’s preference for harrassing older, better trained, higher paid nurses in order to replace them with young, underqualified, cheaper nurses or travelers so it would look better on the budget? Isn’t that “clubhouse chemistry?”
Why wouldn’t men perform much better when they work with people they like and trust, both personally and professionally? Baseball players themselves CONSTANTLY talk about confidence. I can’t believe that any man wouldn’t care if his teammates have his back or not. Because if you can’t depend on the men you work with, how can you work your best?
I guess this gets back to my thoughts about Roy-O and losing. If the other guys don’t seem to care if they win or lose, why wouldn’t it be harder for to you to care? If you can’t be sure of your fielders catching balls, why WOULDN”T that affect your pitching? If you think you NEED to have a strikeout every time, why WOULDN’T that affect the way you throw? And your concentration? And your attitude toward the lead gloves who let you down? You just can’t assume that men can perform a certain way independent of their circumstances. Because they’re not robots. Or strat cards